Category Archives: space exploration

Philae isn’t dead:, just sleeping (?)

Well, our optimism about the comet probe Philae was premature, but it wasn’t a total loss. Although it failed to “harpoon” itself to the comet, Philae did land after a couple of bounces and sent out some data. Sadly, its solar battery wasn’t able to keep it going since it was stuck on a dark […]

Philae has landed!

by Greg Mayer Qapla’!! Philae has landed! The European Space Agency’s Philae lander has successfully landed on Comet P67, and begun transmitting data. If you rewind the live feed, the success signal is received at exactly 3:00:00 (17:03 CET in Darmstadt), so you can see the reaction in the control room. Here’s the BBC coverage, […]

We land on a comet today! (10:47 EST)

[UPDATE] Some more links to watch: Here is the website of the team who are operating the lander, they also have livestream footage on their site. Their Twitter feed is: or @DLR_de for updates in German. And don’t miss the Lander’s twitter feed : And the current xkcd update:   Make your plans now to be […]

Swell space pictures: A space probe catches up with a comet

  Landing on a comet! That’s the goal of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe, which for ten years (three of them spent dormant) has been speeding toward the Comet 67P, which comes around the sun once every 6.5 years.  Once it’s near the comet, and in orbit around it, the probe will launch a […]

See the Earth from space—in real time

From engadget we learn that NASA has now given us real-time video of Earth from the International Space Station: NASA has switched on the High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment, an internet stream that shows the station’s view of our planet in real time; you can check it out below. Developed and run in part by high school […]

Rocket launch visible at 7:30 tonight

Reader Chris has called my attention to a post on, noting that a rocket will be launched at 7:30 tonight by NASA and the Air Force. Much of the U.S. East Coast is expected to get a view of a mid-Atlantic rocket launch tonight, when the Air Force and NASA will try to put […]

Riding the booster rocket

Alert reader Michael sent me this swell year-old video taken from a booster rocket carrying the space shuttle into space. Be sure to watch for when the booster goes supersonic, separates from the shuttle, and then plunges slowly into the sea. An added bonus is that the sound is real and there’s a speedometer readout. […]

NASA launches a frog, and experimental biogeograhy

by Greg Mayer On Sept. 6, NASA launched the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) towards the moon, where it will go into orbit to gather data on the thin lunar atmosphere. But along with the rocket, a frog, apparently resting on the rocket or launch pad, was taken spaceward, before being thrown free. […]

Farewell, Commander Hadfield!

Chris Hadfield, the commander of the International Space Station (and, if you didn’t know, a Canadian), is going home in a Soyuz spacecraft in two days. Since December 21 of last year, Hadfield has entertained all of us with his fantastic pictures of Earth (posted on his Twitter account), his repartée.  And now he tops […]

Neil deGrasse Tyson loses it in a discussion about science

This clip was highlighted, without comment, at Sean Carroll’s Preposterous Universe website. I’ll post it, too, but add a comment: It shows Tyson losing it in a science discussion with Brian Greene, Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Tracy Day, Ira Flatow, and Bill Nye. The discussion was at an Arizona State University panel on “The Storytelling […]


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